"The Flushing Meadow Improvement," November, 1936

1919 WF 1-16

World's Fairs Collection, 1-16, Hofstra University Library Special Collections

Immortalized by F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby as "The Valley of the Ashes," the future site of the two New York World's Fairs was known as the Corona Ash Dumps, a depository for waste from all over the area. When the idea for the 1939 Fair was in its infancy, then Parks Commissioner Robert Moses came up with the solution to develop the empty land. The pictured bulletin is an official publication of the city and state officials who were dedicated to the improvements of Flushing Meadow Park before the fair's opening. Compiled with the help of Moses, it contains plans pertaining to plumbing, sewage disposal, bridge and overpass construction, the construction of the water amphitheater, and what was to be done with the land after the fair's closing. This development of the former waste site would forever change the landscape and infrastructure of Long Island, as it led to the creation of an expansive public park and several new highway systems.

"The Flushing Meadow Improvement," November, 1936